Forensic Consulting Services

VERTEX is a premier construction claims firm serving contractors, owners, sureties, and insurance carriers on all types of projects from infrastructure to vertical construction. Our claims analysis generally involves an entitlement review, forensic scheduling to identify delay components, damage calculations, and fault allocation analysis.

Entitlement Review

VERTEX’s claim process starts with an entitlement analysis, which requires a review of contract documents, site specifications, construction schedules, and contemporaneous correspondence. In addition, VERTEX typically interviews key personnel to increase our understanding of the facts. VERTEX then determines the nature of the claim issue, whether it involves: Productivity; Acceleration; Differing Site Conditions; Added Scope / Quantum Meruit; Maladministration; Force Majeure; or any other number of claim categories. Once VERTEX has a complete understanding of the facts we offer our support-based opinions.

Damage Calculation

Once VERTEX completes its entitlement review and forensic scheduling evaluation, we move on to our damages analysis. VERTEX draws upon construction cost data from our portfolio of thousands of construction projects, industry standard construction cost data from various software providers such as RSMeans and Xactimate, subcontractor and vendor quotes on certain divisions of work, and actual cost data work already performed. We are experts in providing actual cost claims, estimated cost claims, and total/modified cost claims.

Forensic Scheduling

Many construction claims involve delay damage components. Therefore, VERTEX’s team of forensic schedulers are experts in the use of scheduling software that is commonly used on construction projects. We use this expertise, coupled with our real-world construction experience, to identify durational impacts that caused financial impacts to our clients. Scheduling impacts are often included in claims that involve: Productivity; Acceleration; Differing Site Conditions; Added Scope / Quantum Meruit; Maladministration; Force Majeure; or any other claim categories.

Fault Allocation

In certain instances VERTEX is asked to provide fault allocation opinions once we complete our claim review. In these instances, VERTEX reviews the issues, identifies the duties of the various parties involved in the design and construction of the project, assigns an initial responsibility, and then adjusts the fault allocation to account for patent conditions and follow-up work that covered up defective work, if appropriate.

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Key Personnel

Diana Minchella

Diana Minchella

Executive Vice President, Surety

As an Executive Vice President for VERTEX, Diana Minchella manages the surety claims consulting division nationwide. Ms. Minchella has a strong background in investigating and analyzing construction claims for contractors, owners, sureties and insurance carriers on a variety of projects including commercial, municipal, healthcare, transportation, wastewater treatment and solar facilities. Ms. Minchella has the experience and capabilities to review and defend against construction claims as well as to prepare affirmative claims. Her claims experience has involved construction delays, design defects, owner-initiated changes, unanticipated weather, differing site conditions, disruption, and defective work. As a claims consultant, Ms. Minchella has experience in analyzing schedules and calculating damages.

Ms. Minchella also has a strong background in construction management and civil engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering. As a project manager with VERTEX, Ms. Minchella has provided construction management and consulting services on numerous multi-million-dollar projects throughout the northeast. Many of these projects were distressed and required Ms. Minchella’s experience and leadership to bring the projects to completion. Ms. Minchella is a respected consultant in the surety claims industry.

Ryan Phillips

Ryan Phillips, PE, CCM, CEP, LEED AP, CDT

Executive Vice President, Litigation Support

Ryan Phillips has over a decade of construction management and construction claim experience in the Rocky Mountain Region. Specific expertise includes: surety consulting and project completion, owner’s representation, construction oversight, construction claim analysis and preparation, construction defect cost estimating, liability review for construction defect matters, construction bid package preparation, and cost to complete preparation. As the Executive Vice President of Litigation Support, Mr. Phillips oversees contract claims and other legal consulting requiring environmental, engineering and construction expertise. 

Bill McConnell

Bill McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT

Chief Executive Officer

Bill McConnell is a co-founder and CEO of The Vertex Companies, Inc. Bill has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver, a Master of Science degree from Columbia University, and he is working towards his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado (anticipated graduation in May 2020). Bill also completed a part-time three-year business program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bill has worked in the construction industry for nearly his entire life. He rose through the ranks from a union construction worker during high school and college summers, to a project engineer at a top 50 construction company, to a senior executive at VERTEX. In addition, Bill is a top expert witness for construction disputes as he has testified approximately 170 times, most notably for cost and/or standard of care opinions. In addition, many construction, engineering, and law organizations have published his articles and reports over the past two decades. As the CEO of VERTEX, Bill sets the strategy for VERTEX’s future.

News

VERTEX's Jeff Katz and Bill McConnell Present to the AGC on COVID-19 Construction Impacts

March 27, 2020

VERTEX’s Jeff Katz and Bill McConnell presented “The Components of a Comprehensive Project Continuity Plan” as part of the Associated General Contractors of America’s eight-part webinar series on the factors that construction companies need to consider as they strive for business continuity during the COVID-19 outbreak. From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many feared…

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VERTEX is Ready to Assist

March 17, 2020

CEO UPDATE VERTEX has implemented prudent social separation protocols due to COVID-19, but we are up and running at full capacity and we are here to service our clients through these turbulent times. With 500+ employees in 30 regions, VERTEX can help clients with travel bans to cover in-person meetings or site inspections anywhere in…

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CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

February 29, 2020

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance. Contact VERTEX

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VERTEX Celebrates 25 Years

February 28, 2020

It was February 1995 when VERTEX’s founders, Jim O’Brien, Bill McConnell, and Jeff Picard, started VERTEX. We started with only a few but now we are many, not only in numbers but also in disciplines. The company has grown to a global AEC firm with solutions in engineering design, construction, environmental, forensics, and IT. We…

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Lawrence Daniels Joins VERTEX as Senior Technical Advisor, Environmental Insurance

January 21, 2020

The Vertex Companies, Inc. (VERTEX) is pleased to announce that Lawrence D. Daniels, P.G., has joined our organization as a Senior Technical Advisor for our Environmental Insurance Division. Mr. Daniels most recently served as Assistant Vice President for the Global Risk Advisors/ESIS division of Chubb. In addition to more than 10 years of environmental consulting…

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Blog

COVID-19 Supply Chain Impacts & Construction Delays

March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Disrupts Supply Chains Causing Construction Delays  From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many feared that the virus would have a powerful impact on supply chains, resulting in construction delays. Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) recently published the results of survey poll questions taken from March 17 – 19, 2020. When asked if…

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The Time Impact Analysis Method of Quantifying Construction Delays

February 28, 2020

Whenever a change occurs or is proposed, the contractor must evaluate both the direct costs associated with implementing the change and the time impact of those changes, i.e. will the change affect how long it takes to complete the project. There are a number of methods available to calculate the effect of the change on…

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Building Codes & International Best Practices

February 18, 2020

Building codes are an integral part of both the design and the construction of infrastructure and facilities. In the United States, adherence to building codes is a must. When it comes to international projects however, there are times when complying with building codes will conflict with the needs and goals of the client. And there…

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International Contracting - What Contractors Need to Know

December 11, 2019

The opportunity to work overseas can be exciting, lucrative and, frankly, challenging. One key to success is to ask the right questions and know the requirements as you plan, staff, work, and, ultimately, complete your project outside of the United States. You may already be aware of some of the challenges of doing business overseas….

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Using a Windows Analysis to Evaluate Schedule Delays

August 15, 2019

A Windows Analysis, sometimes referred to as a contemporaneous period analysis, is one of the more commonly used methods of forensic schedule analysis. In this post, we provide an overview of the method along with a brief discussion of its strengths and weaknesses. What is a Windows Analysis? A Windows Analysis is a forensic technique…

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